Thornton Academy News

Featured Faculty: Jack Morrison–Math Department Chair & Head Freshman Football Coach

This week’s featured faculty is TA legend, Jack Morrison, who graduated from TA in 1974. Mr. Morrison lives in Saco with his wife, Sheri. His children (Brian '06 and Emma '08) are also members of TA’s alumni community, and his son Brian is also a math teacher at TA!

Mr. Morrison received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Maine at Orono and eventually his master's degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Maine. Mr. Morrison began his teaching career at TA in 1978; he became TA’s head freshman football coach the year after. His first 9 years were spent teaching physics, but he transitioned to teaching mathematics and has been ever since. Currently, Mr. Morrison serves as the Mathematics Department Chair and is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

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When asked about his inspiration for becoming a teacher, Mr. Morrison shared that he was greatly influenced by his role models during his time as a student at TA: Bob Cote, Phil Curtis, and Dick Agreste!

What is the best thing about teaching at TA? What is the most challenging?
Best: The collegiality of staff, my responsible and respectful students, and having the opportunity to get to know students from around the world.
Most Challenging: Keeping up with technology; Covid-19 has forced me to reflect on all my past teaching practices and adapt to this new reality.

What is your favorite teaching memory?
There are many, but the common theme is seeing students succeed after experiencing self-doubt about their abilities. My favorite coaching memory is the freshman football victory vs. Biddeford in 2002—a last minute 70-yard drive to score the winning touchdown.  My son Brian was the quarterback!

What do you hope for your students? 
I hope they will develop quality relationships and never compromise on their   commitment to excellence—“just OK is not OK.”           

What do you hope for the future of TA? 
To quote Winston Churchill, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” My hope is that TA continues to be responsible to its students, its faculty, and its community. It’s the people of Thornton Academy that are its greatest strength. 

Featured faculty fun facts! 
Favorite food: Nathan’s hot dogs
Favorite Book: Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Favorite Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Song: Vienna by Billy Joel

Thank you, Mr. Morrison, for 43 years of dedication to your students and athletes. Your legacy of teaching and coaching excellence has made you a treasured role model to many Trojans! 

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(Pictured above: TA's Math Department in 1991)